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Is China preparing for war? There's a reason Beijing is aggressively pursuing a policy of total national self-sufficiency

Chinese police officers in front of the Tiananmen Gate. Credit: Betsy Joles/Getty

Chinese police officers in front of the Tiananmen Gate. Credit: Betsy Joles/Getty


April 20, 2020   4 mins

China is on a war footing. While the Covid-19 outbreak has exposed some grave political miscalculations behind decades of international strategic relations with Beijing, the depths of our problem are only just beginning to dawn on us.

Fuelled by our desire for ever cheaper goods, the world has collectively sleepwalked into a supply-side dependency on the People’s Republic.

The gamble had been pitched as a trade-off. China was expected to evolve democratic norms and embrace relations with the international community, while we got richer from globalisation. But we have been played.

Whether it’s clothing and factory-fashion, personal protective equipment or hardware parts, too many of our manufactured goods today rely on a ‘Made in China’ supply-chain. At the same time as it was busy taking control over our manufacturing, China was busy cloning western software, via her lackadaisical respect for international copyright rules.

And while the world relies on China for hardware, China avoids software dependency on outsiders by creating substitutes: TikTok to replace snapchat, Weibo instead of Twitter, WeChat & RenRen for Facebook. Indeed, there is an alternative Chinese version for almost any platform.

With manufactured goods and hardware ‘Made in China’, and software increasingly ‘Cloned in China’, what of natural resources? Through the ‘Belt & Road’ initiative — a ‘21st century Silk Road’ connecting China to Europe over a network of land and sea trade routes, the People’s Republic has embarked on huge infrastructure projects in 60 countries, including loans and construction projects that secure key ports and mines as collateral to China for payment.

Look to Pakistan, African or southeast Asian nations to see China’s rapid expansion in ownership of mines and ports. Look to the UK and China’s attempts to secure our telecoms industry via the Huawei deal, her recent purchase of British Steel, and her quest to secure the nuclear power industry. Beijing even secured a deal to develop British nuclear station Hinckley point C in Somerset, thus paving the way globally for China to enter the global market to dominate nuclear power.

Over decades, we have naively outsourced or lost manufacturing, software, natural resources and critical infrastructure to China. The economic benefits of globalisation are well trodden, yet as Covid-19 has shown, it has left our society vulnerable during a major crisis, unable to manufacture the most basic of necessities such as PPE. Meanwhile, China has achieved self-sufficiency.

While pursuing economic dominance abroad, China’s communist one-party state has centralised political power at home, gained unprecedented command over her own population via wide ranging and well-documented spy-tech, and placed anything between 1 to 2 million Uigur Muslims in gulags.

Considering what we know of colonial history, there is little room for doubt that China is at a pre-colonial stage. States at this stage attempt to centralise domestic power under a strong leader, dominate global supply chains and monopolise industry, all the while expanding abroad to secure natural resources. China is aggressively pursuing total national self-sufficiency, and the question arises as to why.

My conclusion is that China is preparing for war: total, not limited war. The kind that seeks to rebalance the world order, tipping it in her favour by replacing the US as the dominant global power. Historically, major conflicts have arisen when the leading global power is challenged by a rival, a problem known as the Thucydides trap — and China is expected (by some metrics) to overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy this decade.

Also, and crucially unlike us, China is preparing for the next type of war. The People’s Republic knows that she cannot beat the US militarily — and she knows that type of ground war is almost over.

Instead, by securing global supply chains, maintaining IT independence, and having a cast-iron grip over her own population, China can focus on building her cyber and biological war capabilities while remaining relatively safeguarded against the same herself. Considering all of this, from steel to nuclear to telecoms, our policy towards China until 2020 can best be described as one of miserably failed economic appeasement. From China’s perspective, she has successfully gifted us a Trojan Horse.

So what is the solution? Do we take that bait and prepare for war too? No. We must first understand what happened, and grasp how it came that we so willingly handed China the very tools by which to defeat us.

For too long, China has had a strategy for dealing with us, while we have had no strategy for dealing with China. We must urgently pivot our strategic relationship, one that entails assuming that China is in a Cold War with us already, and ends our current naivety.

We must minimise our total global supply-chain dependency on China, or any one nation for that matter. Trade with China, yes, but we must ringfence critical infrastructure: nuclear, telecoms and natural resources such as steel.

As recent politicisation of the WHO highlights, the post-war international community — supposedly governed by the UN — is no longer serving its purpose, and perhaps more than ever the UN faces a crisis in moral authority. Instead, NATO-style, we must reorder our strategic and military alliances around the Pacific and build an international consensus against the broader expansionist desire of the Chinese Communist Party.

Just like with nuclear non-proliferation, there must be newly-developed global consequences for negligence in cyber and bio hazard safety. Post-Covid, we would be wise to build a new global consensus on which punitive measures are suited to states that violate our cyber or biological safety.

Whatever happens in China does not stay in China. Whereas our Orientalist based ‘othering’ of China created this blind spot, only our hubris and naivety would allow for us to continue thus blind. We have been outmaneuvered, but this pandemic has magnified our failures and brought them to the fore. We would only be deserving of loss if we did not learn the lessons now.


Maajid Nawaz is a columnist, LBC presenter and Founding Chairman of Quilliam.

MaajidNawaz

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
4 years ago

All of this has been obvious for some time but it needs to be said over and over again. Ironically, the Kung Flu might, in the long-term, save us from China, because it will have woken up more people, more quickly, to the fact that China is like Nazi Germany times 20.

My only issue with Maajid here is his use of the word ‘outmaneuvered’, because the fact is that the west has not even been ‘maneuvering’. Instead, we have been asleep at the wheel, handing over money, technology and the initiative to China.

Meanwhile, we have elected idiot after idiot, all across the west while endlessly partying on borrowed or printed money. I struggle to think of a rational leader of a major western nation since Thatcher and Reagan departed. I guess there were one or two in Australia.

As such one has to wonder whether we are capable of responding even if we do wake up. Our education systems are a joke, our politicians and mass media know nothing about anything, and our public sectors gobble up endless resources while doing nothing competently or with any integrity whatsoever.

In addition, the west is home to countless people who actively hate the west. These people range from white progressives and identity-politics mongers, to certain religious and ethnic groups. All of these people would happily see China take charge if it brings down ‘the patriarchy’ or whatever this year’s progressive buzzword it. Moreover, the mass media and many arms of the state are largely on their side.

In truth, it is difficult to be hopeful.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Exactly, so now is the time for a preventive war. A war the West (US) has every chance of winning without the Chinese getting a single hit on the CONUS.
This window of opportunity is fading fast, Mr Trump must act now, for all our sakes.

Jane Bray
Jane Bray
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

ðƾ‘

Rafael Aguilo
Rafael Aguilo
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“Meanwhile, we have elected idiot after idiot, all across the west…” – Yet, if anyone can recall, while President Trump has been telling it like it is about China, he was branded, from the day he was elected, as a “racist”, “fascist”, “Nazi”, “Xenophobe” by everyone who could not bother to see the forest for the trees, and pretended all along that China was a “friend” to the West. They forgot that even President Obama brought China to the carpet in 2010, because of its currency manipulation. The West bought into the Pied Piper’s promises. He’s knocking at the door to collect.

d.tjarlz
d.tjarlz
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“In addition, the west is home to countless people who actively hate the west. These people range from white progressives and identity-politics mongers, to certain religious and ethnic groups. All of these people would happily see China take charge if it brings down ‘the patriarchy’ or whatever this year’s progressive buzzword it. Moreover, the mass media and many arms of the state are largely on their side.”

Seriously, if you believe this then you’re part of the problem and not part of the solution. The Patriarchy is a highly problematic institution– it has given us the likes of Donald Trump. But to think that there are “countless people” in the West who would prefer Xi as their supreme leader is delusional.

eamonnfoley
eamonnfoley
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The progressive west has been too busy referring to its own populations as Nazis.

David Bell
David Bell
4 years ago

Global supply chains is code words of outsourcing carbon dioxide emissions. If we are going to take on China we need to do two things as a matter of urgency:

1. We need to scrap the “zero carbon emissions by 2050” policy. The policy was always a fig leaf because those emissions had been moved to other countries. We have to start being realistic, not virtue signalling
2. Following on from the above we need to stop artificially pushing the cost of energy up through “green levies” which is making production of steel, etc to expensive in this country. The policy of increasing the cost of production has lead directly to the outsourcing of manufacturing to China.

It is coming close to decision time!

Natalija Svobodné
Natalija Svobodné
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Global supply chains is code words for make cheap stuff and skip labour and environmental laws… If those goods had an extra tax added to repair carbon emissions, environment degradation and pay workers better – Outsourcing would become far less popular! As cost of production would no longer have an artificial edge over other countries bound by higher environmental standards and labour costs.
Unmitigated greed rules the day. It is coming close to decision time! But its the design of our economies that must change! the way we purchase goods must include the costs on the environment and workers!

David Bell
David Bell
4 years ago

You can’t solve a problem of over tax and over regulation with more tax and more regulation!

Natalija Svobodné
Natalija Svobodné
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

And we can’t solve the problem by outsourcing, ignoring environment, poor labour laws and skipping of taxes! That would mean we simply keep spiralling downwards with more advanced economies lowering standards and environment to remain competitive.- lowering living standards and rights for all workers… If you can think of another way if be interested! But I think without better controls we all lose!

Globalisation of taxes…
We need a new and global approach to taxing big companies – When there is no longer a territorial imperative, when the place of residence and the investment are no longer a given but a choice, when added value is generated in too abstract a fashion for its creation to be assigned a precise location, taxation is no longer a sovereign decision.

Structural
The free market does not price bads ” but nevertheless bads are inevitably produced as joint products along with goods. Since bads are un-priced, GDP accounting cannot subtract them ” instead it registers the additional production of anti-bads (which do have a price), and counts them as goods! For example, we do not subtract the cost of pollution as a bad, yet we add the value of pollution cleanup as a good. This is asymmetric accounting. In addition we count the consumption of natural capital (depletion of mines, wells, aquifers, forests, fisheries, topsoil, etc.) as if it were income rather than capital drawdown ” a colossal accounting error. At least we should put the costs and the benefits in separate accounts for comparison!

Continuing to grow the economy when the costs are higher than the benefits is actually uneconomic growth, and what we have in the way of accounting is an obfustication of true cost and benefit.

https://www.weforum.org/age

David Bell
David Bell
4 years ago

I fear you are adopting the solution favoured by the EU ie when the EU or the Euro isn’t working they demand even more of the same. Increasing regulation, centralising taxation, etc are all ways of centralising power. The Euro is a prime example of how imposing a straight jacket benefits one party (Germany) massively while imposing appalling costs on others (Greece, Italy, Spain).

We will not regulate or tax are way to a “greener” economy. Your proposals will devastate developing countries, reducing health care, living standards, life expectancy and many other things those populations want to improve their lives. This will drive them to dirty technologies to provide goods and services that are to expensive for them to buy from the “clean” highly regulated producers in the developed world. (think India and old car designs which belch fumes)

I will leave you with one though that proves tax and regulation rarely produce the outcome desired by those who propose them. NHS consultants where asked to work longer hours to reduce waiting lists. When they worked those hours and where paid they discovered the marginal tax rate was often more than 100% due to pension claw back which had been brought in because some people where angry that higher paid employees where able to build up large pension pots. Needless to say the consultants stopped the overtime and the waiting lists didn’t reduce. So what side of the fence are you on? Is it better to have reduced waiting lists or should we get worked up by high paid employees having large pension pots to fund their old age and leave the sick people to be sick?

Natalija Svobodné
Natalija Svobodné
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I think you are right on the EU being a monolith.
But actually I was wondering more on what you think the solution is?

Better tax regulation gets money into infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, police – all underfunded while multinationals skip tax obligations.

I’m not sure that tax regulation and NHS consultants have to do with each-other? – NHS consultant situation is more a miss management of resources and money over tax regulation.

Weak regulations are not producing the results needed… Corvid19 is likely caused by deforestation and habitat destruction! Forcing wild animals closer to human populations. Zoonotic diseases will become more common!

The focus on Unlimited Growth on a finite planet with finite resources cannot produce what we need. It’s killing our planet, creating more inequity, crime, pollution and pandemics!

I don’t think less regulations are beneficial especially for workers and the environment! Economic thinking’s shown itself incapable of making the right decisions by people or nature. It will pollute and underpay when it can and finds ways to do this unregulated wherever possible!

Taxation will have to be globalised for it to be effective against multinationals who skip taxes over borders. Companies are no longer situated where they produce, value added, so that money doesn’t go back into needed infrastructure (hospitals, schools police etc). Multinationals who book revenue in havens should be taxed at home – regulations are badly needed!

Restructure the tax system… and yes regulate!
Shift the tax base from value added (labor and capital)
to – that to which value is added.
From resources extracted from nature (depletion), and returned to nature (pollution). Such a tax shift prices the scarce but previously un-priced contribution of nature.

Value added to natural resources by labor and capital is something we want to encourage! we want people to work, be creative make goods, use resources carefully and encourage innovation! so stop taxing it!

Depletion and pollution are things we want to discourage, so tax them! Encourage business to use resources carefully and R&D better solutions to design and resource use! making more from less! polluting less.

Developing world vs Developed countries.
Realistically not everybody would be able to grow and have what we have! – In fact we need to degrow for it to be sustainable! If another 9 billion were to consume as we do – we are finished as a planet and as a species!

We already used a year’s worth of Earth’s resources by July. (and we still want to grow our economy!?)
https://www.sciencealert.co

I think developing countries economies should grow but not ours! We have far more than they! At unsustainable levels too! For others to develop it’s only fair to stop expanding and taking more.

Nobel prize nominee Herman Daly
https://steadystate.org/top

Habitat loss linked to global emergence of infectious diseases https://www.sciencedaily.co

David Bell
David Bell
4 years ago

The solution is not more regulation and tax. The important point about NHS consultants is to show how regulation and taxation are blunt tools that regularly result in unforeseen outcomes that are worse than the original problem those taxes and regulations where meant to solve. Government is there to provide a stable environment for both business and the community. When Government try to micro manage the economy they only have macro economic tools which are blunt, unwieldy and usually inappropriate for micro economic management.

What we need is a dynamic recovery. We need to kill off the worst of the EU Regulations such as GDPR which prevents development of AI. We need to encourage entrepreneurs to find solutions to cleaner energy instead of government picking “winners” eg wind turbines, which don’t actually solve the problem of carbon reduction in the energy sector because of the erratic nature of wind requires “spinning reserve” in old style power station to pick up the slack when the wind suddenly stops.

Infrastructure needs renewed, but we don’t need “ego” projects. We need to develop projects around existing infrastructure to maximise returns. We need bypasses, new bridges, new trains, lines straightened out to take away curves that slow trains, faster broadband, etc. Things that reduces waiting times, not polish egos

A vast exercise in increasing taxes, increasing regulation and stifling new technology will prolong and stop the recovery, not help it!

Natalija Svobodné
Natalija Svobodné
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

but then without regulation / tax how would you remain competitive in other countries without environmental or worker standards?…. it really feels like a chicken egg/ egg chicken conundrum…

Every age has its problem I guess ;O)

But I do feel the answer lies in the economy
In how we trade with partners with lesser standards for profit

The economy is the force that steers the way we use nature, and utilise resources and build the kind of environment we want to live in as citizens… (regulation and tax) the way we steer the future.

Do I want to live in a world where it is ok to make kids work in factory lines, workers get exposure to uranium no (then why should I Allow trade with such a country to get the product I want?)

development of AI…
Well even being a tech person myself I can say i’m not keen until either the state is the licensor of all AI – so to secure funding for those displaced (which will be on mass!)

or that greater regulation on implementation and control are made… at the moment it is a free for all and profit is the only consideration.

Again the common person is left out and seen as a skipping stone to another persons fortune.

jsdspunky
jsdspunky
4 years ago

Took the words right out of my mouth ! We need to think about whats around us our environment and our future ! We only think about filling our pockets And our pockets are endless ! GREED IS OUR CREED AND NOW WE ARE PAYING THE PRICE !!

Natalija Svobodné
Natalija Svobodné
3 years ago
Reply to  jsdspunky

“We only think about filling our pockets”…. sadly no I think its only a small group of people that think about money.
Most people only survive as a quarterly review in their evaluation either at the office or at worst as a politician – this is a design flaw in business and as governance – the mechanism in both is lacking to think further along the track. Its a design flaw in business and politics. (something tat needs to change in the laws we have, in the structure of our policies!) A more long-term view!

If government decision had to be 50 year plans. Decisions would perhaps be made differently – instead of by popularity as a goal for the future. Democracy was also described as Tyranny of the masses to make popular decisions…over what is needed. (I like democracy when it is based on good decision making – long term over popular)

Popular decisions are not always the best decision.

So we are stuck currently with a political machine that thinks short term and by what is popular over what is necessary

and also stuck by and economic mechanism that values what is cheap over what is sustainable and what is humane for the worker. Capitalism is still better than all other systems but must be held accountable to the environment and to workers life quality and environment!

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
4 years ago

Majid Nawaz writes: “China is expected (by some metrics) to overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy this decade.” Yes, by some metrics, like exchange-rate-adjusted nominal GDP estimates. However, by the most reliable metric, GDP on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China overtook the US in 2014, on Obama’s watch. In 2019, the IMF estimates for GDP on a PPP basis showed the Chinese economy was larger than the combined economies of the three USMCA countries: the US, Mexico and Canada. The Soviet Union never had this kind of economic superiority over the US, or anything close to it. Westerners are dreaming if they still think the US is the number one economy in the world. It’s time to wake up.

perrywidhalm
perrywidhalm
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

Don’t confuse symbolic wealth like cash, stocks and bonds with real wealth like agricultural land, forests, mineral deposits, factories, highways, rivers, railroads, millions of trucks, tractors, combines etc. and the most powerful military in the history of history. China is a 3rd World nation with 1.4 billion mouths to feed dependent on the rest of the world to purchase its cheap junk.

gjardine.2011
gjardine.2011
3 years ago
Reply to  perrywidhalm

This is true. The fundamental wealth of a nation is it’s natural resources and the advantages that accrue from its geographic location eg weather, logistics and defence. Britain has been blessed with many gifts which is why we have survived and prospered. National intelligence or ‘smarts’ is available to any nation. The Chinese have developed this resource while we have been lazy and greedy. They have exploited our indolence.
we can change our ways and redress the situation. Also we have, mortgaged our resources for Chinese debt. We and many other countries now owe an enormous amount of money to China. To get out of our dilemma we need INFLATION! This will be painful for us but 20 years at 5% and the Chinese strangle hold will be relaxed but we will still have our comparative advantages. They will have an aging population and a diminished water supply. A number of other actions we need to also address but controlled inflation is our most powerful counter to the CCP threat. But they may choose war like Nazi Germany did!

Christopher Dunn
Christopher Dunn
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

If China is the number one economy, and the case is it is, then it seems it has less reason to go to war. Who is starting the war? Is it the U.S.?

steve_engel88
steve_engel88
4 years ago

For China’s perspective on war, Google “The Secret Speech of General Chi Haotian” and read the long speech in full . . .

Natalija Svobodné
Natalija Svobodné
4 years ago

Trade with these non democratice countries is always pitched as a way to encourage “democratic norms” But we all know it’s simply to get cheap stuff at cost to human rights and the environment!(Which is completely undemocratic!) If work was kept at home we would A be more self sufficient, B) have greater control over the environmental standards C) worker rights etc –
The world bank thinks soley of profit! in the guise of an “instrument of democracy” But its actions speak louder than words! Bad investments combined with neoliberalism bring yet more precariousness even to once stable economies!

shargreaves26
shargreaves26
4 years ago

I agree with most of this article… We were so blind handing over our IPR and allowing China to reverse engineer… Then produce cheaper. Of course ae it was cheaper the standard of living was so low and poor….. Even big companies like BT have factories in Shengheinz….. Go back to made in Britain and let’s become more self reliant… I fear it is too late especially with the priority on Covid 19. Even goods coming into UK will always be suspect from China….. FINALLY It would be nice if China could make an apology to the World for all this loss of life due to their Low standards.

Steph

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
4 years ago
Reply to  shargreaves26

Apology from the PRC? Dream on. No way will they even for a moment contemplate such a loss of face. In any event such an apology would be meaningless since they see Covid 19 as grist to their mill. It is now up to all of us to make it clear to the political class that it will not be allowed to work to their advantage in this way. There will be a cost but it must be paid – and it will be worth paying.

Robert Ford
Robert Ford
4 years ago

More than 30 years ago my wife and I were in the USA visiting family.
On visiting a well-known tourist spot we entered a very large gift shop in order to buy presents for our family back home. We hunted up and down the display aisles but were unsuccessful in finding anything that was not marked “Made in China”.
Evidence that, nearly a third of a century ago, American businessmen were interested only in profit margin, obtaining their stock from the cheapest (albeit arguably, dubious) source.
‘America first? Not as far as businessmen are concerned.

welsh_sarin
welsh_sarin
4 years ago

25 years ago a freshman at Cambridge, whose name I can’t recall, gave a talk at the union warning listeners about Chinese govt. entering Europe and America using $2 dollar shops primarily to secure its foothold and also to promote economic benefits buying goods from China may offer. There was a roar of laughter and comments of fearmongering were uttered by a handful. But the chap was right and China has succeeded in hurting other nations’ economies and may end up bankrupting well established institutions. Time to discard our blinkers and remove our dependency on any one nation. As Gandhiji said,” “Self-sufficiency” is “Freedom from poverty and dependency” !

David George
David George
4 years ago

Very well said Maajid.
Steve Bannon has been ringing the alarm bells on these issues; fortunately this crisis has forced us to examine the issues.
Here is a very good discussion on the intent and strategy of the CCP:
https://youtu.be/qH5QzuzD01A

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago

Excellent, at last someone has annunciated the clear and present danger that the Peoples Republic of China represents to the ‘West’.
However to argue that we (ie: The US) should not prepare for war is not only potty, but anachronistic in the present circumstances.Not only does the US have an enormous military advantage in every field, it has, in its present unorthodox leader, someone who may have the will solve this conundrum.
As the noble Roman Censor, Cato the Elder would have said “China must be destroyed”.

willievz68
willievz68
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

China represents a huge threat to Africa, Im in South Africa and the Chinese so called “investments” loans in Africa is busy crippling many African countries as they are ruthless in grabbing resources, land, power even setting up police stations in African countries when loan repayments are defaulted on.
Time to wake up, the Chinese are the wolf in sheeps clothing and the whole world and its citizens are merely accepting our governments putting us in lockdown without much protest or revolt. We are now making the wolf the shepherd as well?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  willievz68

Absolutely correct. It is a Darwinian imperative that Communist China is destroyed forthwith. The future of Western Civilisation depends on it.

Keith Jackson
Keith Jackson
4 years ago

Interesting read and I agree with everything in it, hard not. My one question, a question that I can not answer, I have read arguments both for and against and I can not make my mind up, I am hoping I will get a sensible response on here and one that is backed up with facts beyond all reasonable doubt. The question is, was this Coronavirus made and released by China in a manufactured process in a laboratory?

Jane Bray
Jane Bray
4 years ago

Great article. I think there has been a shift in the wrong direction where individual country’s manufacturing is concerned, leaving us all very vulnerable. Countries need to become proud of themselves, their people and what they can produce again. There are very few labels on goods stating anything other than ‘Made in China’ currently. Yes, we should trade globally but not to the detriment of our ability to function when disaster strikes!

aershidin
aershidin
4 years ago

CCP’s propaganda tools – education institutes are so strong and have started booming. I would like to raise this important issue: What we are going to do with the Confucius Institutes in this country funded by the CCP? How about Success partially funded by our government? They ran business in Shanghai? Even VCC, Business College of UBC? Some departments of SF U? How about some private language schools and institutions owned by Chinese business owners? Because of student sources and their tuition fees paid to the mentioned organizations, the CCP’s influence rooted in deeply. It seems no body care about CCP’s activities in this country. Russian government ordered all Chinese to leave from Russia. The CCP have blocked those Chinese to enter. Thus, the Chinese are wandering in and around Middle Eastern Countries. They might creep into our country through Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand etc.

Rafael Aguilo
Rafael Aguilo
4 years ago

“We must first understand what happened, and grasp how it came that we so willingly handed China the very tools by which to defeat us.” – Well…the Chinese took to heart Lenin’s words, and applied them 100%:
“The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”
~ Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

stevehayward52
stevehayward52
4 years ago

The article expresses important points well.
There is a need to re-establish our own manufacturing and trading with countries of like financial structure. ( Countries that pay a similar level of wages).That way we have a level playing field. A possible group could be the Commonwealth and the USA. In that group we have all the resources we need.

madasafish96
madasafish96
4 years ago

These are my feelings entirely. We have played into Chinas hands. Even social media is controlled by them evidenced by the fact that if you criticize them you are banned. This has happened to me several times in the last year.
We have all become too dependent on Chinese goods because they are cheap but so is our life apparently judging by this latest Coronavirus. They will either force us into submission or kill us.
We must stop this now and start manufacturing goods ourselves even if they are more expensive.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
4 years ago

I’ve been thinking along these lines for some time. And my honest thought is that the public instinctively understands this, even if our ruling classes don’t. I think this re-centering of the ‘nation’, and the derision of it (by a mostly left wing that barely conceals its glee at the weakening of the West) as ‘populist’ or ‘xenophobic’, is a response to the negatives of this creeping globisation and alarm at the lack of concern at its negatives.

William Bramhill
William Bramhill
4 years ago

I’m applying Betteridge’s law of headlines to this one.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
4 years ago

The article combines fact-based analysis with hyperbole – ‘total war’. The actual recommendations are very reasonable – we should not be too dependent on China, we need backup supply systems even as we continue to trade. I think we are already aware that China is not a friendly power.

markwatling
markwatling
4 years ago

It’s interesting because everything China has done is quickly reversible buy the countries China have positioned in recreating their own markets in those industries. We take back our steel manufacturing and stop shipping it to China, Africa mine there own minerals, we do are own Comms or use Nokia or alternative and our own nuclear projects. If every county did that within 2 or 3 years China would be a third world county. We have become reliant on cheap without worrying about the harm and now we all fear our own creation.

ksschoenfelds
ksschoenfelds
4 years ago

Great article; eerily correct about so much, but how can anyone write an article about China’s negative influence on the world without mentioning the Dog and Cat Meat Trade (DCMT?)
Please note that while we in the West are guilty of exploiting animals for entertainment, abusing them in all sorts of ways (most notably factory farms) and ultimately murdering “food animals,” we don’t go out of our way to purposely steal, breed, transport dogs and cats in order to torture them alive. Yes, ALIVE!
Chinese dog eaters believe that tortured dog and cat meat tastes better, makes men more virile and keeps people’s blood warm during cold months; OR they simply enjoy the torture and use those reasons as excuses to blow torch, electrocute, skin, boil and barbecue companion animals ( dogs and cats) ALIVE. They keep these dogs and cats alive as long as possible, putting them through excruciating pain.
By now many people have heard about the torture and consumption of companion animals, most likely through social media. Every year around mid winter, graphic videos of dogs being tortured alive start to pop up on fb and Twitter. Petitions trying to ban the torture circulate and activists protest at Chinese embassies around the world; all with the express purpose of making the civilized world aware of China’s annual Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat “Festival” which takes place over two weeks each June. The idea is to get people mad enough so that somehow we’ll do something, anything, to stop the torture. Celebrities speak out and people show off their pet dogs that were rescued from the DCMT in China, Korea and other Asian countries. That said, you would be wrong to assume that the torture and consumption of dogs and cats begins and ends in June. The DCMT is prevalent all throughout China, all year long and again, the Chinese people that eat dog meat want those dogs tortured first, and for as long as possible. Videos show men and women laughing as they hold down lids on huge woks of boiling water, dogs trapped inside as they yelp and make sounds we normal dog lovers have never heard the likes of while slowly boiling to death. Kids are also seen in videos watching these horrific acts, often laughing along with the adults as the dogs and cats scream in agony. Like the adults, children enjoy the torture at Yulin during June or in their family’s backyards, year round. They are taught from a young age that even family dogs can and often are tortured and then murdered for their meat. So China is raising another generation of people with no regard for animals, and worse, a drive to partipate in their torture.
As you may have guessed, China has no animal welfare laws, so all animals are regularly exploited, abused, murdered and consumed. Some are buried alive. Some are trapped in roadside “zoos” and others are skinned alive for their fur and skin. China is a living hell for all animals, and this is true year round.
Aside from the activists and rescues which exist in China, the majority of people there have at least tried dog meat and are against banning it. Why? It’s become clear that if they did, Chinese people would be seen as weak by succumbing to western values.
As if the DCMT in China wasn’t bad enough, they have popularized the consumption of dog meat throughout Asia, parts of Africa and all around the world.
The next time you think about China wanting to start a war with us, picture them
barbecuing your pet dog or cat alive. Remember that they are spreading the normalization of eating tortured dog and cat meat around the world and to younger generations. Then ask yourself why the hell we shouldn’t bomb the hell out of this third world country posing as a modern day mecca of civilized people.

perrywidhalm
perrywidhalm
4 years ago

Not likely. Any nation foolish enough to attack the United States or one of our allies directly would suffer a defeat so astounding, so overwhelming the dead would be considered the lucky ones. The US has the ability to kill every living thing in Asia. Don’t worry too much about Red China.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  perrywidhalm

Well said sir!

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
4 years ago
Reply to  perrywidhalm

But China knows that, which is why they wage war by other means, and v very successfully. I realised this some time ago, before the pandemic.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Don’t despair. A nation that claims to have ‘invented’ gunpowder, the magnetic compass and the printing press, and then rejected all three, is unlikely to be very proficient in asymmetric warfare, whatever it’s propaganda.
As a possible alternative to nuclear destruction, the ‘West’, should attempt economic and cyber attacks, with the intention of breaking China up into its component parts, as has happened so frequently before.
Divide and rule, as we used to say.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  perrywidhalm

Absolutely correct, and the Chinese are incapable of hitting the CONUS.
But can the US protect all its theatre Allies, to whit, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore?
It is very unlikely that even with the fantastic B2 Bomber, the USA will be able to eliminate all of China’s medium range, mobile launched, Balistic Missiles .
The arrival of a “bucket of instant sunshine” over say Singapore, would be catastrophic.
This is the sort of calculation Mr Trump will have to make.
Years of indulging and fawning over China have made this scenario a very real possibility. What a pity we didn’t listen to McArthur & Co back in the 50’s.
.

skoky76
skoky76
4 years ago

Great analysis, I fully agree. Nevertheless as being myself from former Soviet sattelite country (Czechoslovakia) I remember how strong USSR power have felt (and how false that feeling was) just few months before the Berlin wall fell. So my hope is that even in China there is a growing number of people, who do understand that future is not in communist party dominated centralized power and will eventually be on our side, when we turn the wheel of history back. I still believe (maybe naively) to the power of freedom, free societies and ideas on which USA and also modern Europe is based on. We can overcome this problem together, countries like Taiwan and Hong Kong are our best allies and our power is still unprecedented in history (I mean so called western civilization including also Japan, S. Korea, Australia, European Union etc.). I am optimistic even though I feel China is the greates threat to our freedom at the moment. (Russia is long time gone from global influence – fortunately).

globalteachin
globalteachin
4 years ago

There are many ways to promote the domestic production of needed goods in health, transportation and alternative energy. One way is to promote the conversion of defense industries to needed civilian development applications. Another way is for states to cooperate not simply in stay at home closures but also in joint procurement to nurture domestic suppliers. There are several models for these practices. #democratizethecrisis

Patrick Cosgrove
Patrick Cosgrove
4 years ago

“…. , it has left our society vulnerable during a major crisis, unable to manufacture the most basic of necessities.” I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Certainly, we couldn’t produce them immediately, but companies were able to switch production within a few weeks, which supports your argument that supply chains can be shortened (although I’d argue closer to home and in UK rather than solely in UK). I suppose the next question is whether we’re prepared to pay the higher costs.

wendykellett1
wendykellett1
4 years ago

Excellent article, which reflects mounting public concern about China’s aims and its dominance of so much of the world’s trade.

My feeling is that China should pay reparations for the damage caused both to public health, the natural world- the appalling wet markets and its appetite for the body parts of endangered species- and the economies of so many nations.

Interesting to read about the law suit being prepared in this regard in the US.

As to the UK, my belief for many years, increasingly so now, is that we should begin to restore the British manufacturing sector, with committed and significant investment in R&D, apprenticeships , vocational degree courses and decent wages and working conditions.

Successive governments have eagerly signed up to the great British car boot sale, thereby handing over control of supply and prices to the PRC.

And the Huawei agreement should be rescinded.

mgradd
mgradd
4 years ago

Here’s an idea … why don’t we stop referring to countries with a feminine pronoun? Show me just ONE land mass (or, for that matter, a ship, car, bike, city, county, state, planet, star, galaxy, ANY inanimate object at all, really) with a vagina, and I’ll happily shut up. No? Thought so. Isn’t it ridiculous that we no longer refer to soldiers who die in conflict as serviceMEN (and let’s be honest: it’s ALWAYS men) but as serviceMEMBERS because <reasons>, but refer to so many plainly neuter things as female for the same, weirdly gynocentric and blatantly misandric <reasons>? The proper spelling of the word is C-O-U-N-T-R-Y, Maajid — but I guess in your gynoworld, we leave out the O.

Tom Helsby
Tom Helsby
4 years ago

I am in total agreement, the donkeys who lead us need to understand what is happening. Another reason for us becoming independent from the EU allowing us to to trade with the world on our terms.

bordercallant
bordercallant
4 years ago

It does look like a war is inevitable with China. Whether the Chinese have set this up or the Americans is still up for debate from my point of view. If the Chinese are the aggressors, then it looks as if their weapons will be biological ones. The only way to protect us in such circumstances would be to destroy their labs and that would mean Nuclear Bombs as we have no ways or means of fighting a conventional war in China.

I am sure that the Chinese are aware of this and I doubt that they would risk such a war which is why , at the back of my mind, I suspect some dirty CIA tricks going on here with yet more weapons of mass destruction scaremongering.

This has all of the modus operandi of the lead up to the Iraq War and we know that was a joint CIA/MI6 scam.

I suspect the same thing is happening and the reason is that the US sees China taking over economically and they don’t like that.

China has not any history of aggression other than Tibet whereas America has been an aggressor since 1942.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  bordercallant

You are completely correct about to the Iraq War. It was a shameful event that Tony Blair Esq, amongst others, bears full responsibility for.
However the China problem is of a completely different order.
The Iraq War arose from the fact that Israel regarded Saddam Hussein as a clear and present threat, for which he had only himself to blame. It could have destroyed Iraq with its nuclear weaponry, but politely opted to invite the US/UK to execute a conventional land based Crusade. We obliged accordingly.
In China’s case the provocation has been much more serious, and must be dealt with accordingly if ‘we’ are to survive.

henkfprinsloo
henkfprinsloo
4 years ago

I’ve brought a book from a bookshop in Pretoria that has expanded to the extent that it has become a publisher. But what was my dismay that this book was printed and published in China. I don’t think it is necessary to wonder why as many American manufacturing companies have moved their factories to China over roughly three decades as China has the edge as far as labour is concerned.
If the restrictions in America does not cripple the economy there to such an extent that Trump looses his popular standing then I still have hope, but this trade war and the possibility of a conventional war will have to be carried out with measures that will put an end to the CCP’s (Chines Communist Party) growing dominance. If Mr. Trump survives and is given an additional four years in which he will oppose Chinese expansionism with at least the same vigour as he is doing presently, I believe that China’s dream to supplant America as the dominant world power can be halted. But there is still much required to destroy the CCP’s control over the Chinese nation. I’m not so certain that Trump has time on his side.
America is presently facing a militant socialist onslaught from within. The Democrats are hoping to change the demographic nature of America with its own agenda of open borders, continued program of culling as carried out by Planned Parenthood ,its green deal and the insistence on lowering the voting age and allowing voting without producing proof of identity.
The CCP in China is also facing resistance and the problem of a labour market that lacks new and younger workers. Let us all pray that God will intervene during this period of lock down crisis. We know that China, the exporters of the Corona virus, has itself become bogged down by their own export product and the re=opening of the wet market in Wuhan.

princehenrytewesa
princehenrytewesa
4 years ago

I don’t know about you guys, but I think it’s time we send all Chinese people back to their country, we stop buying anything made in China

Jota Jota
Jota Jota
4 years ago

The author needs to make some corrections: Hinkley Point C is being built by Electricite de France (EDF), China is a minority financial partner in HPC (1/3 if I recall correctly).

China is embarked on the largest nuclear development programme in the world (EDF is also building reactors in China, one opened just last year), the idea being to displace coal and gas plants (fossil fuels, climate change remember that?).

I fail to see the link as to why a financial stake in HPC (an expensive project facing costs over-runs – to be borne by the developers by the way), would ‘pave the way for China ‘dominating nuclear power’.

I thought this platform was supposed to present better quality articles, this one reads a bit shrill. It seems the author is ill informed and thinks China is building HPC (or alternatively tried to misrepresent a situation).

Take the second paragraph
“Fuelled by our desire for ever cheaper goods, the world has collectively sleepwalked into a supply-side dependency on the People’s Republic”

Is it not the case then that there is an interdependency between the World and China? Consider China in turn is dependent on the West buying its goods and EM providing it with raw materials (commodities).

As for preparing for war? I haven’t read of Chinese ships in the Gulf of Mexico or the Mediterranean, I have read of American and European war ships in the South China Sea. Go figure, quite a peculiar Western Imperialistic outlook. Plus ca change!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  Jota Jota

Correct, there are no Chinese warships in the Mediterranean, or even for that matter in the Gulf of Mexico. Come to think of it does anyone have warships perpetually stationed in the Gulf of Mexico? What is the threat?
However the Chinese are trying hard, their new ‘ski jump’ aircraft carrier is the most visible example. On land they are beavering away to create a viable ICBM force.
However, as you intimated, the West sees itself as the inheritor of Ancient Rome and consciously or unconsciously believes the ‘gods’ have selected it to “humble the mighty and protect the weak”, as Virgil tells us, so beautifully in the Aeneid.

hywaytropper
hywaytropper
4 years ago

China is nobodies friend.

rippon g
rippon g
4 years ago

test

Christopher Dunn
Christopher Dunn
4 years ago

I just had a thought. If people in the U.S. (and elsewhere) are not smart enough to see that the U.S. did the bioweapon on China, then perhaps they’re not smart enough to win a war against China.

Rupert Wolfe Murray
Rupert Wolfe Murray
3 years ago

While I agree with the conclusions of this well written piece, the author is missing the elephant in the room: China is a lot more unstable than people realise. The Chinese people are angry at the corruption and inequality, the economy is reliant on unsustainable levels of growth and this year will have gutted their seemingly vast pile of foreign currency reserves.

I don’t see China as an unstoppable juggernaught (the popular view as people see Made in China labels everywhere, and also the ancient view; remember the “Yellow Peril”?)

I see China as a de-facto empire that has already swallowed up Tibet, Xinjiang and Mongolia; but an empire that is worried about its sustainability as it knows the numbers don’t add up and that unemployment and social unrest could be its undoing. They might seem to be on top of their game regarding technology, manufacturing and surveillance but if exports continue to flag, growth stays low and unemployment grows, they’re in deep doo-doo.

With all that in mind, it makes sense for China to stir up nationalism and the national sense of greivance that is instilled in every school child — and facilitate border skirmishes with India and in the South China Sea — as it’s a well known tactic to distract the population from China’s underlying weaknesses. Just think of the Falklands/Malvinas in the early eighties, and Russia today.

But the author’s conclusion is right: we need to protect our strategic industries and be more careful about what we buy from the Chinese. Hopefully more reasonable leaders will emerge in Beijing and Washington DC and they can work it all out over a conference table.

flymasiga
flymasiga
3 years ago

Let me simply say, it is too late! Maajid makes exellent arguements but like most theoretical arguements before his, nothing gets done. The rise of China can only be halted by a major economic, political or natural catastrophe. With its begotted self, the west has been blindsided by China’s image of “internal instability”. Like a reed swaying against strong winds, China will bend but not break at least not in the aforeseable future.
China learned from the west’s colonial practices; go overseas, destroy, plunder, disinform, dominate and enslave. And, they have been smart enough biding their time to penetrate the west.
It is hard for the US to accept this but there can only be one leader at the apex. For now, the US is surviving the ordeal while clutching on straws.

rabwho
rabwho
3 years ago

Unfortunate as it is; China has outwitted the West and transformed its economy. The article tells us that China is not going into a military war and on that basis; who should we be more worried about? As China is flourishing, America is sinking into a quagmire! It is ruled by a much more dangerous shadow, the so called, ‘military industrial complex!’ Mr Trump carps on about China having taken all the jobs, which equally applies to the UK and Europe. NO! Since WW2 successive Western governments have given those jobs away and deserted the workers in favour of putting their countries money into gambling dens, particularly of London City and Wall Street! I understand that China has spent ‘trillions’ on its infrastructure and built masses of new cities, bringing its people into good housing and good jobs. What is America doing, what has it left? Certainly not built up its creaking infrastructure for the benefit of its people! Waging wars, dominating any country it can bully and planting its military and intelligence might in nearly every country in the world. China is only doing what any self respecting country would do, they certainly get enough warnings from Mr Trump and that is, quietly thwarting all present bullying and preparing for all future hostilities. Secretly; I believe Mr Trump and his shadowy persuaders not only fear China but silently admire them for what they have achieved. Mr Nawaz sums it all up when he concludes; ‘We have been outmaneuvered, but this pandemic has magnified our failures and brought them to the fore. We would only be deserving of loss if we did not learn the lessons now.’ If only? If only?
By the way; the Chinese policemen pictured above are wearing 3M masks, 3M is the Minnesota Mineral and Mining Company. Surely not made in China!

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago

“Fuelled by our desire for ever cheaper goods, the world has collectively sleepwalked into a supply-side dependency on the People’s Republic.”

?

If was fuelled by the desire for higher profits not cheaper goods. Consumers had little choice where anything was made.

Alfredo
Alfredo
4 years ago

Not once has the author mentioned the role of Donald Trump. His harebrained tariff wars with China & his irresponsibility handling the COVID-19 has weakened the country. Will there be a follow up to the author’s article?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
4 years ago
Reply to  Alfredo

Trump has been (correctly) highlighting the dangers and evils of China for many years. He was ridiculed by the media and by the progressives etc, but he was right, just as he tends to be right about almost everything that matters.